Finding the Best Seating for Showers

close-up of shower seat

What is the seat in a shower called?

Whether it is for yourself, an elderly parent, or any member of your family, a shower seat can make a lot of difference in how comfortably, safely, and thoroughly a person showers. Even for a woman that just gave birth and can’t sit in a tub, sitting in the shower can be a blessing with a modern shower seat

Modern shower seats are made especially for use in bathtubs or showers by people that aren’t able to stand while showering or for a person that can’t take a sit-down bath. It can also help a caretaker assist a person with their bathing needs and help them out of the tub or shower. 

Today, modern shower seats are referred to as tub seats, shower benches, shower seats, or bath seats. There are various styles with different features. A modern shower seat should not be confused with a transfer bench. A transfer bench is used to help a person from their wheelchair to the shower and back again. Anyone can use a modern shower seat; it is a great way for women to shave their legs safely or for anyone else with grooming needs. 

Are shower benches good?

A modern shower seat or bench is a good way to cost-effectively improve the function and safety of a walk-in shower. For a built-in modern shower seat that isn’t needed for seating, they can be used for shelving and to place your foot on while shaving or washing your legs and feet. 

How do I choose a shower seat?

Modern shower seats today have anti-slip feet, are rust-resistant, and sturdy. Different styles of modern shower seats include: 

  • No Back or Arms: For a person with good back strength and balancing ability, this chair is ideal to help conserve their energy. Choose one that has a non-slip seat surface with holes in the seat for water draining. Make sure it also has non-skid feet on the legs. 
  • Full Back: Ideal for a person that has a weak back. The chair back provides them support and gives them something to balance with as they stand. You can choose one with a padded seat for comfort and for somebody with tender skin issues. A chair can be more comfortable than a hard plastic seat. Some come with removeable arms and backs. Make sure there are non-skid feet on the legs. 

What is the best material for a shower seat?

No matter the need for a shower chair, you want one that will blend with the other bathroom elements. However, it needs to be durable, functional, and most of all, safe. Today, modern shower chairs are available in a variety of materials: 

Plastic

A popular choice because of the price point and common when the need is for the medical purposes of a disabled or elderly person. They come with adjustable backs, different heights, and removable arms. A sturdy plastic seat with metal legs and rubber grips on the legs for safety is easy to clean but not necessarily for aesthetic appeal. 

Wood

Modern shower seats can be found in a variety of different woods. Most are bacteria, mold, and water-resistant.  The different types of wood are: 

  • Teak: A dense material that offers a luxurious spa touch to any bathroom. Known for its durability and water resistance, and easy to maintain with teak oil and a teak sealer reapplied every so often to keep it beautiful. Mildew and moisture resistant, ideal for any bathroom. 
  • Bamboo: An affordable and good-looking option for a modern shower seat. Less expensive than teak, but more so than plastic. It requires regular coating with mineral oil to keep it looking attractive or it gets mildewed and molded. 
  • Cedar: A beautiful redwood that is known for its aroma. It should be sealed before use to protect this sturdy wood. It is susceptible to decay and rot from constant moisture and will swell over time. 

Stone

A durable material that can handle high-moisture conditions and requires no maintenance or preservation. It is expensive and not the most comfortable modern shower seat. The most popular stone modern shower seats are: 

  • Marble: A beautiful stone that can make your bathroom look and feel elegant. Must be sealed properly to maintain its beauty. Water-resistant and humidity tough, this offers a touch of sophistication that will last forever. 
  • Granite: Much like marble in features, this porous stone absorbs liquids quickly, so should be sealed first, with this process repeated on a routine basis. An expensive option in modern shower seats. 
  • Quartz: A manmade manufactured stone that is low maintenance and non-porous, making it a popular choice. Sealing isn’t necessary to keep it beautiful, but it is expensive. 
  • Tile: A popular choice for modern shower seating because it adapts to any bathroom styling. It can be difficult to clean, making maintenance a number one drawback. 

How do you waterproof a shower bench?

A plastic modern shower seat won’t need waterproofing; however, if you choose wood or stone, you will need to seal it, and most of them will need resealing periodically.  They should come with instructions on this and the contractor that installs the unit should provide a tutorial and a list of recommended products. 

Can you put a chair in the shower?

A regular dining or kitchen chair – absolutely not! A shower chair, one that is made for the bath or shower should be the only type of chair placed in the shower. Follow the guidelines and information we have discussed here to get the best and safest modern shower seat or chair. 

What should I use instead of a shower chair?

If you only have a bathtub or a small shower where a modern shower seat or bench won’t fit, there are bath stools that are height adjustable.  You can also try a transfer bench for a safe and practical sitting aid. 

shower with a shower seat inside

In Conclusion

For anyone needing a modern shower seat or bench, the expense is sometimes hindering the purchase. So a common question is, “Will Medicare pay for a shower chair?” and the answer is complicated. 

Medicare Part B requires the chair to be doctor-ordered and classified as Durable Medical Equipment, meaning it meets specific medical necessities for the patient. Typically, modern shower chairs and benches are not covered. If one is used while in the hospital or a nursing facility, any charges for that will be paid by Medicare Part A. If you’re seeking more information on modern shower seats, reach out to us today at (972) 581-9865